Natural Healthy Food

Natural Healthy Foods

Firstly a little history lesson. Like many people in Birmingham, and if you were vegetarian or vegan, The One Earth shop may well have been the only place you could buy things you could actually eat. I started visiting about 10-12 years ago when the soya milk still tasted like wee and it was very difficult to eat a variety of different food if you were a vegetarian let alone a vegan. The shop always had a homely and cosy feel and you usually were able to buy interesting and obscure products that you couldn’t but in the supermarkets. The sign was a hand painted one which lasted the test of time over many years and was even kept when the shop changed hands and was renamed 100% Vegan.

Natural Healthy Foods

But it’s 2015 now and all things must come to an end, or modernised and that is exactly what Simon and Susan have done with their new venture Natural Healthy Food. The old sign is gone and the new sign is very authentic and you don’t need to walk in to know that all our needs are catered for. It reads “Dairy Free, Raw, Organic, Vegan, Gluten Free.” We are covered friends of Birmingham.

Natural Healthy Foods

Having spoken to Susan only online, this was the first time meeting her and Simon but felt like I had known this pair forever. Susan was very enthusiastic about products on offer and gave me a tour of the new shop. Knowing about my wheat problems, she was quick to point out what I was allowed to have and there was an absolute wealth of it. She was kind enough to send me some pictures before so I had high hopes! Check out the pictures of the wheat free on Facebook and what I brought today on my Instagram..

Speaking to Susan, I discovered she had the same attitude to things like sugar as me and was lovely and refreshing to speak to someone very honesty about products on offer. They are very proud of only selling things they like and are of a high quality, as we all know there are still quite a lot of bad vegan items out there especially in the cheese world!

Natural Healthy Foods

The other owner Simon, I found to be a very interesting, passionate and knowledgeable chap. We discussed Zinc, b12 and cooking Tempeh for ages! He is qualified in Naturopathic Nutrition and is very keen to use his experience and knowledge to help people in their nutritional journey. His fundamental view is to use the shop “to inspire people to cook good and quick meals using nutritious ingredients” and “to eat well on a plant based diet.” I certainly saw that in abundance with uncommon products like Fava beans that you may never have heard of, but are busting with goodness. Simon was great because when I picked up something I didn’t know how to use, he was instantly able to tell me a recipe and how to cook it! Natural Healthy Food now stock high quality supplements and protein powders which is useful when you are on vegan diet.

Natural Healthy Foods

I was very struck by the sugars shelf in the shop. There of course was sugar as we know it in brown Demerara sugar, but also things like Coconut palm sugar and nectar which has a much lower glycaemic index rating that refined sugar. Choice is a wonderful thing and something we can forget about when we have intolerances and that was found on every shelf in the shop. Of course you have all the usual suspects like Quinoa, green tea and Chickpeas, but what about Black Rice, Matcha and Beluga Lentils?

Natural Healthy Foods

I was very excited to hear about plans for events, support local producers and utilising the space for interesting things in the future, but I will let them reveal that to you!

An introduction to “Pizza goals” #1

I’m sure you all feel the same way as me. When you are vegan, have a dairy allergy, wheat/gluten intolerant etc etc you hear from all your mates about the wonder of this delicious looking and smelling thing called Pizza. The thing you are not allowed to ingest for many reasons. And has got to be one of the worst things you crave when you have eating issues right? It certainly did for me when I found out I was allergic to dairy when I was 12. When you have something then it’s taken away from you. I would never have dairy now anyway, but that time, school dinners of Pizza and Chips looked so appealing.

So for many years after, I had to accept that I would never have Pizza again. And being Pizza free had become a way of life. I had never given this much thought until I went to New York for the first time, which was my goal after being Cancer free back in the summer of 2010.

In my research of places to eat, which is standard for anyone with dietary requirements, I found Vinnie’s Pizza in Brooklyn which did VEGAN PIZZA! This was my first time tasting such a thing and this is where my obsession and desire for Pizza began again after being deprived of it for so many years. I swear after that night I thought about the massive Pizza I shared with my friend there, every day! This Pizza was so huge, we couldn’t’ finish it between the two of us so took back to the apartment for breakfast the next day!

Vinnie's

On my return from New York, and still thinking about Pizza, I was determined to find somewhere in England where I could taste something like I had that night in Brooklyn. And the on the 2nd September 2010 (I don’t know how I remember these things. But when food is involved you know….) I travelled up to Leeds to the Grove Café with one my best friends to try the Soya Delight, which was an absolute massive delight with some Garlic Supreme bread. It is well worth a visit if you are in Yorkshire, as not only to they do curries but a huge of range other Vegan Pizzas from the Soya Delight to the Ammazoni to the Foragers Favourite. The main draw, being vegan was certainly the Pizzas as they included Vegan Cheese so you don’t have to request a sub standard  “Pizza without cheese” when you go to other outlets. I visited here about 3-4 times per year back then as the food was so delicious and the owners so hilarious.

Grove Cafe Garlic Bread Supreme and Soya Delight

When I was getting my head around that, BOOM Wheat Intolerance struck so had to step up the search further. And that’s where PIZZA GOALS has begun. Of course I have all the usual life goals like nice house, car, job yadayadayda… but now added to that list is to find THE BEST VEGAN AND WHEAT FREE IN THE WORLD! It’s going to happen. Right here on this blog!

Let’s get this party started with the first one..

Stingray Café

135 Fortress Road 

Tufnell Park

London

http://www.stingraycafe.co.uk/

Stingray

You want Gluten free Italian and Mediterranean in London? You got it all right here! They have a passion for this sort of thing and it’s evident all over the website and menu. Pizza, Pasta and even desserts! That Vegan Mango sorbet will be mine one day! I didn’t know that a traditional Pizza is 14 inches so when my Pizza arrived, I had a MASSIVE SHOCK. Vegetariana was crunchy, dense and fillings with my taste buds experiencing crazy things. Even with an added £2 for a gluten free base, I felt the total cost was a very reasonable price for a Pizza of this size. I really loved the friendly and relaxed nature of the staff at Stingray who were very accommodating to me. As it was cheeseless, they very kindly swapped the 2 cheeses for different toppings for no extra cost; Spinach and Mushrooms  It was great to have soya milk for my brew even! Make sure you pick up a loyalty card when you visit and check out the vast number of special offers Stingray run during the week.